Ephesia Grammata

According to Pausanias, a sequence of mystic letters which was inscribed on the famous statue of Artemis of Ephesos was used in rituals for protection. These letters could be spoken as well as used as an inscription. They are:

Askion Kataskion Lix Tetrax Damnameneus Aision (or Aisia)

The Ephesia Grammata are described by ancient authors as, e.g., evil-averting spells, spoken as one walks around newly wed couples, or they could be uttered to expel daemons. The use of these powerful letters and words is attested in ritual manuals and on artefacts, but they were mixed with other words of power.

In a magic book dated to the third or fourth century a “Charm of Hekate Ereschigal against fear of punishment” is preserved. The practitioner is instructed to say the following words aloud three times:

Askei Kataskei Erôn Oreôn Iôr Mega Samnuêr Baui

Ephesia Grammata
To the left: Artemis of Ephesus, Leptis Magna, Amphitheater, 2nd century, 150 cm. Tripoli, National Museum. Marco Prins, CC0 1.0 Universal. https://www.livius.org To the right: Collection of magical charms related to the underworld goddess Hekate 3rd/4th century, P.Mich.inv. 7, The University of Michigan Library